There is no Heavenue this year, so I visited the queer Christmas market Hamburg Winter Pride. One of the few markets still open after Christmas!
Located in the St. Georg district, Winter Pride is located just two minutes from Central Station. Despite its central location, you still have to know where to look. It definitely quieter than most other markets, even with regular party music at 7pm.
Meet & Mingle
An important part of Hamburg Winter Pride is meeting with other people. There are only a few food stalls grouped around a central area. Drinks and snacks (also vegan) are available. The wooden sheds (small, medium, big) are actually rental spaces with their own supply of Glühwein and cookies. Availability can be checked online.
I like penguins, so I was delighted to see a queer penguin couple as the unofficial mascots of Winter Pride. Did you know that penguins are among the many species where homosexuality has been documented? And gay penguins play an important role in penguin society. While they may not give birth, they may adopt abandoned little penguins to raise them as their own.
Now, I don’t want to speculate whether the Hamburg Winter Pride penguins are Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual or Asexual. But I’d like to see them featured more on the market and the website. Less flamingoes, more queer penguins, please!
One feature that deserves mention is the participation of various groups from the “gay-lesbian community” (quote). On select days, these groups are in charge of the Glühwein and receive a share of the sales. They are also open for questions. Groups include the gay-lesbian choir Belle Alliance, Aidshilfe Hamburg, Magnus Hirschfeld Centrum, plus Command Queer (non-binary) and Dykes On Bikes (lesbian motorbike club).
On Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 11pm, you can dance to music from community DJs. It’s a small stage, but it’s there!
Verdict Hamburg Winter Pride
Winter Pride isn’t big and if you travel to Hamburg just for this Christmas market, you might be disappointed. There’s another queer Christmas space at the Santa Pauli Reeperbahn (a couple of stops by subway or S Bahn) curtesy of gay bar WunderBar. Winter Pride is on most days a more intimate affair – not sexual, more social. One minor complaint is the use of “gay-lesbian” as a synonym for queer on the website. Queer is a broader term that also includes different gender identities and Bi people.
These two groups were present at the Glühwein tap – so why not call it the queer or LGBTQIA+ community. Visibility is important 🙂
Location + more info
November 21 to December 30
12 noon to 10pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays)